​Art Perspective into Central Asia's Post-Socialist Era

​​photography, video installation,digital MULTIMEDIA


​​Almagul Menlibayeva


In my multimedia project of Artistic Interpretation of Central Asian Emergence, cyber textiles serve as more than mere backdrops or props. They are integral to the narrative, acting as maps that chart my journey of exploration and the transformative currents sweeping through a globally emerging region following the dissolution of the USSR. Central Asia, with its strategic geopolitical positioning and rich tapestry of cultures, becomes the heart from which these stories pulse.

Through a series of 11 site-specific video installations, accompanied by a selection of photographs, cyber textiles are recontextualized as a visual language. They guide the viewer through layers of history, symbolizing the interweaving of tradition with the threads of modernity. Each piece is a waypoint on a larger map, marking the intersection of personal experience with the collective journey of Central Asian societies as they navigate post-socialistic reality:
1. Astana. Departure. North Kazakhstan;
2. Kurchatov 22  and TOKAMAK -the Nuclear Test Site and Thermonuclear sites, West North Kazakhstan;
3. Transoxiana Dream, a project about the Aral Sea, ecology, and the former Bacteriological Testing Ground, Kazakhstan- Uzbekistan;
4. Ulugh Beg: Intrinsic Futuristic Machine of Central Asia, 11 video channel installation Samarkand, Uzbekistan- Lahore, Pakistan;
5. Karlag Archipelago, Milk for Lambs, Exodus, Central Kazakhstan;
6. Butterflies of Aisha Bibi, Turkistan, Kazakhstan;
7. My Silk Road To You, Taraz, Turkistan, South Kazakhstan;
8. As The Oil Burns, Steppen Baroque, Apa, AI Realism. Qantar 2022, Almaty, South Kazakhstan;
9. Fire Talks To Me, Baku Azerbajan;
10. Ride The Caspian,  Caspian basin Iran-Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan;
11. The Tongue and Hunger. Stalin's Silk Road. Kazakh Famine Asharshylyk through the personal story, Central Kazakhstan;

The Map of Nomadizing Reimaginings #2, 2023
220 x 160 cm

Medium:  Cyber Textile, Postdigital print on fabric, and Hand sewing work. Unique piece.

Cyber Textile Map is a part of Site-Specific Video Installation
Commissioned by HKW. Courtesy of the Artist

The installations themselves are deeply rooted in the following thematic pillars:

Personal Perspective: Each piece is infused with my individual viewpoint, reflecting my personal engagement with Central Asian culture and contexts. This perspective lends authenticity and subjectivity to the interpretation of the region's evolution.

Socio-political Commentary: The works are engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the socio-political climate of Central Asia, offering commentary on the region's contemporary issues and historical complexities through the lens of art.

Global Relevance: While rooted in Central Asian emergence, the installations resonate with universal themes, making the regional narratives accessible to a global audience and highlighting the interconnectedness of our world.

Narrative Construction: Storytelling is central to the experience, weaving a tapestry of narratives that bridge the past with the present, and possibly the future, of Central Asia. These stories are told through the visual medium, inviting viewers to delve into the region's multifaceted identity.

Evocative Symbolism: Symbolism plays a key role, using evocative imagery to encapsulate the essence of Central Asia's emergence. This allows for a non-linear exploration of themes, providing depth and layers of meaning that go beyond the obvious.

This cyber textile map is not only a navigational tool but also an extension of the installations, reflecting the interconnectedness of traditional art forms with contemporary digital mediums, highlighting my role as a conduit for cultural and artistic expression.